How to Pick the Cigar that’s Right for You
If you’ve never smoked a cigar before, or if you have smoked one but have never found a cigar that you’ve liked, you’re probably wondering what to look for in a cigar. Here are some basic variables to consider when picking the cigar that’s right for you.
One of the first things to decide on when picking the perfect cigar is the type of bodied cigar that you want. The overall strength of the cigar should taste good without overwhelming your palate, so if you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a mild cigar rather than going straight for full strength.
Believe it or not, the size and shape of the cigar doesn’t just dictate how long you’ll be smoking it for, it can help determine flavor too. However, the timing of your cigar is essential and the longer the cigar the longer it will take for you to smoke it. If you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a smaller size to build up your smoking skills.
Cigar Aficionado magazine has devised a rating system that is used far and wide to rate cigars – so a cigar rating will usually come up when you’re talking about cigars. Remember, like anything involving personal taste, cigar smoking is a highly subjective experience, and while ratings can be a good guideline in terms of indicating how good a stogie is, it all comes down to your preference. Generally a 70-79 rating is average, 80-89 is very good to excellent, and 90-100 is outstanding.
Although pricing shouldn’t be the most important factor when choosing a cigar, remember that expensive doesn’t always mean better, And if it’s your first time smoking a cigar, you should probably stick to mid-range cigars-at this point you will be developing your palate, and moderately-priced stogies are more than adequate for this purpose.
The many different types of tobaccos used in hand-made cigars can produce drastically different flavor profiles, depending on a number of factors. Everything from the country of origin, type of leaf, amount of exposure to the sun, and fermentation or aging time can affect the taste of the cigar. With so many variables, it may take you a while to figure out what your taste preferences are for a cigar. As a very basic guide, natural or Connecticut-wrapped smokes tend to be creamy and mild, darker-wrapped Maduro cigars often have a “darker taste”, with hints of coffee and cocoa, sun-grown wrappers typically lend a slight sweetness and a bit of spice, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Smoking and testing out a variety of cigars is the best way to learn about different tobaccos, and determine your taste.